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Dear valued customers and Wine Club members,

With the Parker Wine Advocate ratng of 94 for the 02 Oregon vintage (he has not yet rated the Washington vintage) and Harvey Steiman's Wine Spectator newsletter about the Oregon 2002 Pinot noirs, there's a lot of interest in the 2002 wines. Several are very worthy of your attention, and are limited, so I thought I'd write and let you know about them. I also encourage you to call or email me. I so enjoy discussing the wines of WA and OR with you, and helping you with your orders.

Although the press has focused on the Oregon 2002 Pinot noirs,
my vote for the wine of the moment is the
Sineann Block One Cabernet Sauvignon 02 $55.99/50.40

It's 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, from Block One of Champoux Vineyard, the oldest producing grape vines in Washington State, and a vineyard whose old vines only produce enough grapes to make a wine every two or three years. Quilceda's Reserve Cab is made from fruit from this Block. Every winemaker in Oregon and Washington and parts beyond want fruit from this block of Champoux, and it is a mark of Peter Rosback's winemaking skills that the owner of the Champoux Vineyard has chosen to set aside part of the Block for Peter each year.

Because the Sineann Block One Cab is only made every two or three years, the chance to purchase it is rare. And the wine is very very special. Think Leonetti Cab Reserve or Quilceda in richness. David O'Reilly, winemaker for Owen Roe and business partner with Peter Rosback of Sineann (they share facilities and marketing) says that this wine is, in its way, as good or better than the 2002 Owen Roe Dubrul. While the Dubrul is a wine for cellaring up to 20 years, the Sineann Block One, while cellar worthy for 7-10 years, is drinking astoundingly well right now. The wine just has everything you'd want in a Cabernet. I highly recommend it as a very special bottle that will become a standout in your cellar and a favorite of friends and family.

Oregon Pinot noirs 2002

Wine Spectator rated 28 2002 Pinot noirs in the latest issue of Wine Weekly, their online newsletter. Here are the wines we recommend.

My first choice for a 2002 Pinot noir to cellar and resist slurping up immediately is Gary Andrus's new wine. Fans of Archery Summit's Arcus Pinot noir $75-85 will delight in Gary Andrus's
Gypsy Dancer Yamhill Cuvee A&G Estate Pinot noir 02 $69.99/63.00

The wine received 92 points from Wine Spectator. In case you are not familiar with him, Gary founded Archery Summit (and Pine Ridge in CA) and made the Archery Summit wines with Sam Tannahill through the 2000 vintage. HIs wines have always been highly collectable, huge, and exquisite. Gypsy Dancer marks a new high point for him. The small boutique nature of his winery means that he can hand craft limited amounts of very personally supervised wine. And believe me, he has not only lost none of his skill, the wines I've tasted with him in barrel are, if any thing, even better than his efforts at Archery.

He also made the Gypsy Dancer Preview Cuvee 02 $36.99/33.30,

91 points in Wine Spectator, "round and ripe, with crisp acidity to balance the plum and currant flavors, shaded with tarry, meaty notes, as the finish lingers. Has plenty to offer" (Harvey Steiman, Wine Weekly 3/11/04).

In the recent Wine Spectator newsletter (3/11/04), Josh Bergstrom continued his annual harvest of high ratings, receiving 93 points for his "Bergstrom Vineyard" 02 $63.99 and 92 points for his Cumberland Reserve 02 $34.99.

The Bergstrom is huge, a dark monster of a wine. The Cumberland is more nuanced, with lovely hints of rose and violet in the nose, but a full body and richly textured sweet fruit flavor. I'd suggest the Cumberland for drinking in the next year or so, and the Bergstrom for the cellar, to start a vertical. I think the wine from this vineyard, planned for release each year, will become one of the most desirable and collectable Oregon Pinots. Supplies are limited.

If you are a member of the Avalon Reserve Pinot noir Club,

you're familiar with the Beaux Freres Pinot noirs. We've shipped all the wines Mike Etzel makes to the club over the years, both the Beaux Freres and Belles Soeurs labels. We'll be doing the same with the 2002 wines.

The Beaux Freres Pinot noir 02 $75 is not yet released, but Mike has assured me that we will be able to fulfill our customer's orders. The wine received 95 points from Harvey Steiman in this week's Wine Spectator Wine Weekly, an issue dedicated to Oregon Pinot noir 2002. The Beaux Freres Belles Soeurs Shea 02 $55 received 94 points, and the Beaux Freres Upper Terrace 02 $75 received 91 points.

If you are interested in the Beaux Freres 2002 wines, let us know how many bottles you'd like and we will not charge your card, but will hold your order until release. The wines will be highly allocated and very limited, but if you specify the quantities you'd like to receive, we should be able to fill everyone's order.

"House Wines" for your House -- Pinot noirs

There's a remarkable selection of Oregon Pinot noir at under $20 retail price right now. Top of the heap to me are the Evesham Wood Willamette Valley $15.99/14.40, Evesham Wood "Eola Cuvee" $19.99/18.00,

and Jezebel 2002 $19.99/18.00.

These three wines have everything going for them, in different ways. The Evesham Willamette Valley is my "house wine" at my house, when we want a food friendly and classically Burgundian Pinot. The Evesham "Eola Cuvee", made from his single vineyard wines, is a rich, lush wine with quite a silky, sensous texture and many layered flavors. It's wonderful with rich meats and good cheese. And the Jezebel is just a hedonistic, in your face hunk of gushing black berry and fruit, with toasty oak thrown in for good measure. Between the three of these wines, I can match most of my Pinot noir moods, without stealing from the cellar!

Ponzi's new Pinot noir "Tavola" 2002 $18.99/$17.10 received 91 points from Wine Spectator this week, and although we have not yet tried it, if like the 01 version, it will be an affordable and impressive value. We have some in stock, shipping after 3/23/04. Might be well worth a try.

Finally, I just visited Owen Roe's new winery and am posting information about the 2002 and 2003 wines. Email me and I'll send you the link for the draft document if you'd like a preview. There are so many new wines being released, and sale prices coming up for other wines, that I'll be emailing again soon.

Please feel free to call me if I can help with an order. I'll be at the store or in my office all weekend.

Avalon Store 541-752-7418

My direct line 541-424-8004

Thanks for your support via your orders! You keep us going, out there tracking down the best wines to try and the most interesting stories for you to read on the website.


201 SW 2nd Street
Corvallis OR 97333


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